Phan is ready to self-surrender


David Trung Quoc Phan is ready to turn himself in so he could start serving his eight-month prison sentence after being convicted in a scheme to bring Bangladeshi men to Saipan on promises of jobs and green cards in exchange for cash.

At a status conference last Tuesday at the U.S. District Court for the NMI, Phan confirmed that he received a copy of the order prepared by the District Court’s clerk of court last Oct. 23, where designated judge John C. Coughenour declined to modify the sentence he had imposed on Phan.

At a status conference Tuesday, Phan informed U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona that he is ready to self-surrender.

Manglona advised Phan that he has two options—to be remanded into the custody to begin serving his sentence or to remain at liberty until notified by the U.S. Marshals to self-surrender.

Assistant U.S. attorney Eric O’Malley did not object to the two options.

Phan said he wishes to remain at liberty until notified by the U.S. Marshals to self-surrender.

Manglona allowed Phan to remain at liberty and informed him to report to the U.S. Marshals once notified to self-surrender.

Phan recently asked Coughenour to recommend to the Bureau of Prisons for him to serve his sentence in home confinement as opposed to imprisonment in a correctional facility in the U.S. mainland.

Phan, 56, a U.S. citizen, said because his sentence of imprisonment is less than one year, he believes that any incarceration should be served at the Department of Corrections on Saipan rather than off-island in a federal prison.

The U.S. government, however, opposed Phan’s request. O’Malley said Phan is an adult who should have considered the consequences of his actions and the impact it would have on his family a long time ago.

“It is time for him to truly take responsibility for his actions, to pay his debt to society instead of continuing to consume government resources, and to serve the sentence this court has rendered exactly as it was rendered,” O’Malley said.

On Oct. 18, 2017, a federal jury convicted Phan of two counts of mail fraud, three counts of fraud in foreign labor contracting, and one count of fraud and misuse of visas and permits.

Coughenour sentenced him to eight months in prison, and two years of supervised release.

Phan appealed his conviction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and asked that he remain at liberty while the Ninth Circuit considers his appeal. The District Court granted Phan’s motion for temporary release last May 2.

Last June 18, the Ninth Circuit affirmed Phan’s conviction. The Ninth Circuit also denied his request to rehear the appeal or reconsider its decision.

Manglona then extended Phan’s period of release until Tuesday’s status conference.

Phan has no prior criminal record before his conviction.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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